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  • Bounce flash in large hall/open space

    I'm still a beginner in using flash. I have a question about bounce flash. I use a Yongnuo YN560 which is strictly manual. The bounce effect is only effective in places with a typical 10 feet ceiling. In places like large halls where the ceiling is usually 2-3 storeys high, I can't get enough light to bounce back to the subject on the ground. Getting that bounce effect is possible, but I have to use a very high ISO like 1600 to 3200 together with my flash set to maximum power. This consumes a lot of power and the high ISO is not so pleasant.

    I'm wondering, I see many photographers, professionals also practice shoot in large halls with the flash firing pointing up. Did I miss anything here? Would using a TTL flash helps? Or simply my flash is not powerful enough?

    Regards,

  • #2
    Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

    sometimes when the hall is too big, bouncing is just not recommended. unless u have a carton or spare AA batteries in ur bag and a high powered flashgun that wont overheat.
    What u need to solve ur problem is a bounce card. I've DIY it before and the items, i got them from Daiso. Check the link below.

    http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/...10!&highlight=
    www.ystingphotography.com

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    • #3
      Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

      this is where high ISO capability & fast lens will be useful

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      • #4
        Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

        sometimes when the hall is too big

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        • #5
          Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

          Originally posted by jjwei View Post
          I'm still a beginner in using flash. I have a question about bounce flash. I use a Yongnuo YN560 which is strictly manual. The bounce effect is only effective in places with a typical 10 feet ceiling. In places like large halls where the ceiling is usually 2-3 storeys high, I can't get enough light to bounce back to the subject on the ground. Getting that bounce effect is possible, but I have to use a very high ISO like 1600 to 3200 together with my flash set to maximum power. This consumes a lot of power and the high ISO is not so pleasant.

          I'm wondering, I see many photographers, professionals also practice shoot in large halls with the flash firing pointing up. Did I miss anything here? Would using a TTL flash helps? Or simply my flash is not powerful enough?

          Regards,
          hi jjwei. how do you bounce your flash?
          Q1 : with a diffuser attached to the flash head or no diffuser?
          Q2 : with a bounce card or with no bounce card?

          assuming no diffuser and no bounce card, which direction do you bounce your flash?
          (1) directly up
          (2) pointed up but cocked forward at a certain degree
          (3) pointed directly to your back
          (4) pointed somewhat to the back and with the head cocked to the right or the left?

          i'm asking coz they would all produce a different quality of light and a different angle of light on your subject.

          me? what do i do?

          when i shoot group photos of more than 2 people, i'd point my flash head up and pull out the bounce card of my Canon 580ex2 or my Nikon SB-800. i'd normally start with TTL and control the power to reduce the amount of flashed and shiny look on people's faces while my bounce card provides a catchlight to whomever is looking directly into my lens.

          when i'm doing a candid shot of 1 person in a normal hall, i normally bounce to back and have the flash head cocked to the far right or far left (no bounce card and no diffuser)

          when i'm in a very very large hall, i normally have no choice but to point my flash head up and shoot with my bounce card fully extended. sometimes i even have to cock the flash head forward by up to 45 degrees.

          when i'm shooting at 200mm and really don't have any choice, i sometimes even shoot with direct flash. this is to make sure that even at slow shutter speeds and high ISO, i need to make sure i have a sharp photo.

          sometimes, when i'm in a very very large hall and it's almost impossible to bounce of the ceiling, and i don't want flat lighting on my subject, i sometimes look for people with white shirts that are standing to my right or left and point my flash head to use their bright clothes as bounce cards. hehe.. shhhh. don't tell them ya

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          • #6
            Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

            Thanks for the responses.

            Poopeson, the DIY bouce card is really nice. I've got to make one!

            I forgot to add some info. My flash has got a built in bounce card. I normally pull it out when I use ceiling/wall bounce. Depending on the distance of the subject and the ceiling, I will tilt the flash forward until the light hits the target on spot. Kind of like playing angry birds I've got decent results with typical single home ceilings so far. If the subject is too far away, then bounce will not really work. It's in open spaces where I struggle.

            One example was when I observed a professional covering a wedding dinner which was held in a hall. His flash only with a credit card size bounce pointed up 90 degrees. Then he shoot the events from a distance with a telephoto lens. I'm really curious to know what are his settings and how the flash effects the picture. What do you think?

            My experience tells me that for distant photos, direct flash is ok, because there is enough distance for the light to spread up (I forgot the actual term), so ugly shadows do not show up. If I still attempt to bounce, there is simply not enough light to transmit to the subject, as most of the light is shot and diffused on the ceiling. The catchlight from the bounce card is too minimal to make any difference.

            (My cynical guess is that he could be using a 200mm f1.4 haha..)
            Last edited by jjwei; 25-07-2012, 09:38 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

              A well coupled TTL flash (e.g.Nikon's SB-700, can't speak for Canon, Pentax is not there) would allow you to do so much more.
              e.g. Automatic flash light spread zoom according to lens focal length/zoom, slow sync to allow more ambient light, adjust speed & aperture on the fly, direct flash with lens focal distance as input to determine flash power, place flash closer to subject and trigger via Commander, flash exposure depending on spot/matrix metering modes.

              So in reference to you original question, yes, a TTL flash that works with your camera would help to utilise and direct your available flash power more effectively.
              Last edited by weitatt; 25-07-2012, 10:42 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                Originally posted by weitatt View Post
                A Nikon TTL flash (e.g. SB-700) would allow you to do so much more.
                e.g. Automatic flash light spread zoom according to lens focal length/zoom, slow sync to allow more ambient light, adjust speed & aperture on the fly, direct flash with lens focal distance input to flash, put flash closer to subject and trigger via Commander, flash exposure depending on spot/matrix metering modes.
                yeah, and none of the above answers the OP 's question

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                • #9
                  Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                  napee, in fact what weitatt pointed out is the very crux of the matter. The issue here is that the environment is so dark that we must support with flash. Using a manual flash, I must work it out independently to the camera exposure and my experience so far is that it's not possible to bounce in a large open area. This is the limitation of the flash guide number. If I allow the camera to auto compensate then it will do by means of large aperture or lengthen the exposure time to obtain more ambient light. Do you see the issue? While the flash is happily blasting the ceiling at full power, the camera faced forward, is slogging hard to sap every ounce of light. So the bulk of the exposure comes from the ambient, not the flash.
                  Last edited by jjwei; 25-07-2012, 04:26 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                    Originally posted by jjwei View Post
                    napee, in fact what weitatt pointed out is the very crux of the matter. The issue here is that the environment is so dark that we must support with flash. Using a manual flash, I must work it out independently to the camera exposure and my experience so far is that it's not possible to bounce in a large open area. This is the limitation of the flash guide number. If I allow the camera to auto compensate then it will do by means of large aperture or lengthen the exposure time to obtain more ambient light. Do you see the issue? While the flash is happily blasting the ceiling at full power, the camera faced forward, is slogging hard to sap every ounce of light. So the bulk of the exposure comes from the ambient, not the flash.
                    yeah, i know what those TTL things are and what they do, but none of what he mentioned would help alleviate your problem here. in your case, the solution is more power, faster lens or more sensitive sensor. that's the bottom line

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                      Direct flash.. Hehe..
                      Try buy a DEMB Diffuser Pro. I bought one? Works well?
                      Photography is a never ending journey..

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                        Yes, I agree. I guess my flash is not quite powerful enough. Thanks Adrian, time to try some light modifiers. Shooting the void ceiling is quite stressful for my system. Direct flash if used properly is not bad actually. Just stand a little further from the subject.

                        I'm still curious about one thing. Never mind if the ceiling is high, sometimes the ceiling is matte dark color, makes it even harder to reflect any light back. I noticed people shooting the flash at the ceiling like that. Well, that would be a topic for another thread. Time to let this one rest.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                          Maybe instead of bouncing off the ceiling you could try the wall?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                            Why you bouncing off the ceiling? Try a wall or get a Gary Fong of some sort. Bouncing off a ceiling normally produces shadows under the eyes etc. If you really have to bounce off the ceiling try bouncing to the back at about a 45 degree angle.
                            But in your situation wit ha really high ceiling. Get a bounce card or Gary Fong of some sort.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Bounce flash in large hall/open space

                              I guess I am late to the thread. Anyway, let me share we thoughts...

                              You soften the flash by bouncing it against the ceiling or wall. At the same time, you use a bounce card or Omni-Bounce to create "catch light" in the eyes of the subjects. Note that the bounce card and Omni-Bounce do not soften the flash, so they are ineffective in open space.

                              Canon's flashes have built-in bounce card, but it is referred to as "catchlight panel". That pretty much says it...
                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/kamera-otoko

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